i don’t often use this space to just write my way into things, but it feels like the right thing tonight.
to be clear from the top: this is a deep appreciation of the kultur-kongres’ centennial production. they did an amazing job under less than perfect circumstances and i enjoyed the hell out of it. and because it was a good, solid, well-thought-out production, af mame-loshn, it reminded me what i actually want from yiddish theater, and from yiddish productions of our classics.
i want a queerer dibek.
Continue reading tsvishn tsvey dibukim, oder in der krizis iz arayn a dibek
i want a trans-er dibek.
which is how ansky wrote it.
it’d be good to have an explanation for why, at least in my experience, you tend to see more camab nb people in certain ~queer~ scenes and social circles (usually cafab trans dominated ones), compared to “binary” trans women.
i guess i would speculate that
- cafab people like to have a monopoly on womanhood (even when they dont identify as women)
- it’s probably easier to convince camab nb people that they have privilege over u since they’re less likely to understand their experiences through the lens of transmisogyny (and this is no doubt a deciding factor in “qualifying” for these spaces)
- there’s a decent chance that these are trans women who have yet to come to terms with their womanhood, or are even being pressured away from identifying as women, so they are probably hurt and confused and everything else that comes with being closeted, making them more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation
- camab nb people are possibly(?) more likely to present in a visibly gender non-conforming “queer” (but ultimately feminine) way, meeting the rigorous aesthetic (read: fuckable) standards imposed by these sorts of groups
- related: dont have that “camab person who started taking estrogen after puberty” bod non trans women are obviously so uncomfortable with
- and, most importantly – in my limited experience, are more likely to identify as bi or exclusively male-attracted
(read: driven out)
and then i chimed in:
i partly agree with @radtransfem. but/aaaand, there’s also this inconvenient thing where nb trans women are pretty actively unwelcomed from most social spaces set up specifically by/for trans women.
is “femme refers exclusively to lesbians” a white thing or no?
what tf am I missing
– alder-knight –
trying to write this quickly, if i can… my sense, fwiw, is that “fem” (i use joan nestle’s spelling, not the frenchified one) as a term is in a state of almost total incoherence right now, because there are at least three or four versions of it in circulation, all with quite different histories behind their different meanings and breaking down to some extent along racial lines.
Continue reading on fem
building on a critique of the ‘think of the children’ strategy that liberal trans organizing has adopted (another layer of toxic on top of the ‘born that way’ rhetoric imported from the liberal gay/lesbian world):
beyond the strategic problems, another thing that the focus on ‘trans kids’ does is pushes kids towards an extremely restricted set of gender options.
we know from the world around us that some male-assigned kids will end up being binary-identified, conventionally feminine trans women; some binary-identified, butch trans women; some genderqueer trans folks of a variety of gender presentations; some fem gay men (cissexual, but not cisgendered); some butch gay men. and we know that folks may move among those positions many times in their lives. we also know – from our own lives and those of our friends – that kids who wind up in all of those places at, say, 28 years old, often express ‘cross-gender’ desires.
when what we do with all those kids’ cross-gender expressions is either track them as ‘trans kids’ towards binary-identified, conventionally feminine trans womanhood, or dismiss them as ‘not really trans’, we’re not supporting their self-determination, we’re obstructing it.